Old Thoughts

Connecting Science and Scriptures : Satya Sarada Kandula : All Rights Reserved

Archive for the ‘Nakshatram’ Category

Locating Constellations and Zodiac Signs (Western) and matching Nakshatrams

There is an applet here.. you can select  Orion and Ursa Major. Then go from Aries to Leo. You can also  locate Canis major.

Applet showing circumpolar motion

Acc. to this article Sirius is called Mrugavyadha in Sanskrit : http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A58061090. It is easy to see near Orion.

Details pf constellations : http://www.challengerlearningcenter.com/Micronauts/4.3MICROConstellations.pdf

Map clearly shows location of Leo and Canis Major wrt Orion and Big Dipper

Map mentions the names of the stars within the constellations also

You can see Makha/Magha Nakshatram of the Simha Rasi is Regulus in Leo.

Maghaa 5 Pitru / Ketu Maagha-Feb, March Simha If a single star has to be identified as Maagha, then the best candidate is 32 a Leo/SAO 98967/HD 87901/Regulus. I

Punarvasu is Pollux. 3 padas in Mithuna and 4th pada in Karkataka. Sir Rama’s birth star was the 4th pada of Punarvasu.

Punarvasu 2-4 Aditi / Guru Sri Rama’s janmanakshatram. Punarvasu 4th Padam

Chaitra masa Punarvasu nakshatram was the day on which Dasaratha made the decision regarding Sri Rama’s coronation – Valmiki Ramatanam – Ayodhyakanda.

Mithuna, Karkataka Very Bright Star If a single star has to be identified as Punarvasu, then 78b Gem/SAO-79666/HD-62509/’Pollux’ is the best candidate for Punarvasu. It is a very bright star of +1.15 brightness.

Denebola is Uttara Phalguni. Dr. Balakrishna gives it as ZaVijaya (Arab Name). Both Vijaya an Phalguna are names of Arjuna.

Uttara Phalguni 2 Uttara Prajapathias per Balakanda, Valmiki Ramayanam / Ravi Siva, Sati Marriage. (Siva Puranam)Janaka selected this nakshatram for the marriage day of Rama and Sitaand their siblings. (Balakanda) Phalguna-march- april Simha, Kanya Both the stars are at same time distance from Poorva Phalguni. If a single star has to be identified asUttara Phalguni, then 94 bLeo/SAO 119076 / HD 102870 is the best candidate, despite Denebola being brighter. Reason is that Denebola is about 5 diameters out of Moon traverse band while Zavijava is in the moon traverse band. Uttara Phalguni, is also called Zavijava by Arabs.

Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

See also : http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/5000lys.html

Why study Geo-Centric Astronomy?

To understand the astronomical significance of the Puranas, it is necessary to have some idea of the geo-centric (earth-centred) astronomical model used by Ancient Indian Astronomers (Rishis and others).

A helio-centric (sun- centred) model, simplifies a lot of calculations and is the preferred model in modern science.

But if you step outside and look at the sky and see the sun-rise and sun-set, the full moon and the new moon, you will find that geo-centric astronomy makes more intuitive sense.

So what we will be doing is trying to place ourselves in the minds of our forefathers and see the world as they saw it.

Much of the knowledge that they had did not require extra-terrestrial genes or divine revelation. It required careful observation, excellent mathematics, brilliant insights and great dedication to the science.

It also needed a society which valued truth and knowledge. And that was the society of Ancient India.

It was as difficult to afford advanced education for all then as it is now. So puranas with their high appeal were overlaid with astronomical significance, such that the ‘facts’ were retained even if the ‘derivations’ and ‘logic’ was available only to those who dedicated their life to study.

It was a society that placed the knowledgeable and wise people above the rulers in status while at the same time ensuring that they had neither the power of wealth nor arms and at the same time required strict discipline and self-denial from them.

It was a society that trusted the spoken word and put all the knowledge in to metrical form such that any mispronunciation or interpolation would be evident. It was a society that then introduced many different forms of preserving the oral tradition, with recitals from back to front, alternating words etc, such that the word was incorruptible.

It is possible that the most knowledgeable phycists today know more about astronomy and physics than the rishis of the ancient times. It is certain that the rishis of the ancient times knew more than the ‘average’ or ‘lay person’ of today, and definitely knew more than they are given credit for, by the general populace.

Then why study ancient science at all? Why not study modern physics and be done with it? There is too much to know anyway.

A part of the answer to this can be national pride. A part of the answer to this can be justice and giving credit where it is due. A part of the answer to this can be curiosity. A part of the answer to this can be social reform. If we know what the puranas actually said and what they actually meant, we can make more informed decisions with regard to our religious and spiritual life.

Some people are not comfortable with recognising that ancient wisdom was science. They don’t like  taking the magic out of ancient science. Humans like miracles and magic. They entertain and reassure us. But I think the fact that we are all here at all is a miracle. The fact that we can speak and pray and dance is a miracle. All technology is a miracle. When Nature or Prakruthi is such a great miracle, why seek unnatural miracles?

Let us give the rshis of India their respectful and rightful dues as the original scientists of our human civilization and not just as philosophers.

Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

Halloween, Karthika Pouranami, Yama Deepam

The theme of lights and overcoming fear of death dominates festivals around the world during Karthika Masam.

  • I compare the dates and customs of Halloween, Karthika Pournami and Yama Deepam in the following article.
  • It is possible that Ancient Indian customs spread to many parts of the Ancient World and were later suppressed/modified there under the label of Paganism.
  • At one time Halloween coincided with Karthika Pournami.
  • (See Also : Harvest Moon : Aswiyuja Pournami (Purnima))

Halloween : Americans celebrate Halloween on the 31st of October. Children dress up as ghosts (prethas) and monsters and demand sweets from neighbours. Pumpkins are carved and candles are placed in them. (Jack O’ Lantern)

  • According to this reference, Hebrews followed a lunar calendar. Halloween was instituted on the full moon of the eight month (October). On that day they sacrificed to the golden calves at Dan and Bethel.
  • God ordained, in Leviticus 23, the Feast of Tabernacles on the fifteenth of the seventh month. I Kings 12:28-3228 After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” 29 One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. 30 And this thing became a sin; the people went even as far as Dan to worship the one there. 32 He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made. (NIV)”
  • Westerners used to begin their new year with the winter solstice at one time as opposed to the spring equinox new year traditions of South Indians. Today their new year day Jan 1st is separated by 9 days from the winter solstice, so we know how relatively young this calendar is, compared to the Indian calendars. ( See : Equinoxes and Dating the Vedas
  • For October (Akhtabar – Ashtavar(sha)) to be their 8th month, the first month has to be March. This implies at the their new year also started  at the Spring Equinox, as it does for the Andhras, Kannadigas and Tamilians (and some other Indian States), at the time of the Old Testament.
  • The Biblical Reference above shows that the full moon was the 15th day, which means that like Andhras and Kannadigas (and some other Indian States), they started their calendar on the new moon day when the sun and the moon were aligned.

Karthika Pournami : Andhras (and Indians of some other states) celebrate Karthika Pournami in a big way on the full moon day of lunar month Karthika Masa.  Karthika Masa is named after the Kruthika Nakshatram (called Pleiades). The Krutika Nakshtram is a constellation of 6 stars called the Krttikas and the adopted son Karthikeya (son of Siva), whom they all raised together. It is Karthikeya who killed Tarakasura and returned Indra’s kingdom to him.

  • Karthika Masam is named after Kruthika Nakshatram, because, on an average, the full moon day occurs closer to Kruthika than the other 26 Nakshatrams. This usually occurs in the english calendar month of November.
  • This year Karthika Pournami is on 2nd November and occurs in Ashwini Nakshatram which is 2 nakshatras away from Kruthika.
  • On the day of the Kruthika Nakshatram in Karthika Masam, the festival of Kruthika Deepotsavam is observed – this is on 4th November this year!
  • “The Seven Sisters constellation, Pleiades, which looks like a small cluster of grapes, has long been a signal for the time of year to honor the dead — such as All Saints Day, Nov. 1. According to myth, the Seven Sisters constellation is at its highest point in the sky during a great calamity. The Aztecs and Mayans believed it would be overhead at midnight on the night the world comes to an end.(Reference)
  • What is a good day to the victors (Karthikeya and the Devas) might well be a bad day to the losers (Tarakasura). Could this be a clue?

(For posts by me explaining the lunar calendar please see : Nakshatram of the Day! , Nakshatras and Masas)

Yama Tharpanam and Yama Deepam : Yama is worshipped on different days of Karthika Masam and one or 2 days preceding it.

My calendar gives the day before Deepavali (Aswiyuja Krishna Paksha Chaturdasi as Yama Tarpanam, Naraka Caturdasi, Preta Caturdasi and Yama Deepam) and Karthika Krishna Paksha Trayodasi as Yama Deepam. Expect variations from state to state.

  • Yama Dharmaraja is reverred the luminary (deva) in charge of Yama (Restraint and Self-Control) and Dharma (Ethics, Right Conduct etc). He is popularly known as the God of Death or Mrutu Devata in contemporary Hinduism. At the end of your life, it is believed that, Yama reviews the account of your activites and decides how much time you get in heaven and how much time in each kind of hell. Yama is worshipped to overcome the fear of death.
  • Yamadwitheya / Bhathru Dwithiya: As the legend goes Yamraj, the God of Death visited his sister Yamuna (Yami) on this particular day. That is why this day of Bhayyaduj is also known by the name of “Yama-Dwitiya” or Bhathru Dwithiya. (Source)

In Andhra, sisters give Arati to their brothers on Naraka Caturdasi. Variations of this custom occur in various states of India, both north and south.

For other posts written by me on the spread of Ancient Indian Customs (Brahmins to Hebrews) you may see links below:  (These are not connected to Karthika Masam.)

Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

Nakshatram of the Day!

The Vedic people used the moon as a pointer to the skies.

There are 27 Nakshatrams that cover 360 degrees of the zodiac, so each nakshatram ‘covers’ 13.33 degrees. The moon (Chandra) moves through each of these nakshatrams, once every month. Moving through means moving close to.  The Yuga (Union) of Chandra and any Nakshtra roughly lasts for a solar day.

The Nakshatra Yuga at SunRise determines the Nakshatra of the day.

So at the time the sun is rising, the moon is within the 13 degrees of the Nakshatra of the Day!

Pushya means prosperity. The deity is Brhaspati.

With Reference to Valimiki Ramayanam :

Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

Written by 1 2 Next Change!

August 26, 2009 at 9:41 am

See Karthikeya amd Krttikas on April 26th Evening.

Karthika (Skanda) was raised by the Krttikas. You can see them all tomorrow. In English they are called the Pleiades.

Quoted from : http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/24apr_eveningsky.htm?list25013

“On Sunday evening, the crescent Moon, Mercury and the Pleiades star cluster (Kruthika – Krthika – Krithika nakshatram) will gather for a three-way conjunction in the western sky. It’s a must-see event. The show begins before the sky fades to black. The Moon pops out of the twilight first, an exquisitely slender 5% crescent surrounded by cobalt blue. The horns of the crescent cradle a softly-glowing image of the full Moon. That is Earthshine—dark lunar terrain illuminated by sunlight reflected from Earth.Shortly after the Moon appears, Mercury materializes just below it. The innermost planet has emerged from the glare of the sun for its best apparition of the year in late April—perfect timing for a sunset encounter with the Moon. To the naked eye, Mercury looks like a pink 1st-magnitude star. The planet itself is not pink; it only looks that way because it has to shine through dusty lower layers of Earth’s atmosphere. A backyard telescope pointed at Mercury reveals a tiny fat crescent. The innermost planet has phases like the Moon! Next, do nothing. Spend some quiet moments absorbing the view. As the twilight deepens, your eyes will dark-adapt and—voilà! There are the Pleiades.”

Karthikeya’s Nakshatram From: Nakshatras, Masas, Specialities : Krittika Nakshatra (dedicated to Agni) is defined as a set of six stars. Bharateeya tradition has it that Kaartikeya, is surrounded by five Apsaras. This set of stars is identified by classical European system as Plaeidis. Brightest amongst them is called Alcyone by Arabs. If a single star has to be identified as representing Krittika Nakshatra, best candidate is 25hAries/SAO-76199/HD-23630/ AlCyone. Arundhati Nakshatra (though not a part of the 27 day pointing stars) is near the Krittitka. It is said to be the eighth star in the cluster Krittika.

Krttika Nakshatram near Moon and Orion

Krttika Nakshatram near Moon and Orion


All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

Written by 1 2 Next Change!

April 25, 2009 at 5:14 pm

%d bloggers like this: